Building Sustainability through Educational Partnership
The Kristin Pasifika Project represents a partnership between Kristin and the schools of Poutasi village. In 2009, a tsunami devastated the village and its school, with significant loss of life.
The partnership was founded on an evergrowing relationship with High Chief of the village of Poutasi, Joe Annandale. It is because of Joe's guidance that all schools and their students have benefited so much.
In 2012, Kristin visited the village with 14 tonnes of resources for the local schools and village. Sixteen Kristin students and three staff spent three weeks teaching in the local preschool, primary school and secondary college, as well as helping build and improve facilities in the local area.
Two Poutasi School students and one staff member visited Kristin on a fully funded scholarship for three weeks at the start of 2013. A foundation has been established for the scholarships to continue for at least the next eight years. Again Kristin hosted students and the Principal in 2015.
The long-held dream for Joe Annandale of creating long term scholarships for Poutasi students to complete their schooling in New Zealand became a reality when a Kristin family donated school fees for two students to attend Kristin. In 2015, the first of these scholarships were offered to one student from the village to complete Level 2 and 3 NCEA at Kristin in three years. He will graduate in 2017. We are looking to select another female student on scholarship to begin in 2017 in Year 10.
In 2014, twenty students and three staff returned to Poutasi to teach English for three weeks. With the village schools recent connection to the Samoan Government's SchoolNet, digital devices are now paramount, particularly for older students. With this in mind, Kristin delivered a new Android tablet device to every student in Years 12 and 13 at the secondary college. Every staff member in each of the schools has received a tablet device.
In 2016 twenty students and four staff will return to Poutasi. The focus is to teach English in the Primary and Secondary schools.
Another container filled with learning materials for the school will also be shipped to the village.
Throughout this partnership, the benefit to Kristin students has been significant. All students across the Middle School contribute and experience the immense satisfaction of being involved in an altruistic activity. Those students who travel to Samoa gain a unique insight in the rich culture and wonderful people of that country. They become adoptees of the families of the village, making many friendships with children of their own age. The students return with immense gratitude for the opportunities that they have, as well as an appreciation of the value of cultural diversity.
There seems to be something especially powerful when facilitating a reciprocal relationship that has children learning from children, with each growing and benefiting from the experience.